My Adventures in Argentina: Real Rosetta Stone Results

If only time would slow down just a little. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. My original plan that my husband and I would complete all the Rosetta Stone lessons before our Buenos Aires vacation proved a bit ambitious.

Nonetheless, I can happily report that our time in Argentina was enhanced because of the time we were able to spend with Rosetta Stone Spanish before we left and while we traveled. While our ability to communicate was limited since we’d only completed three units, we were able to communicate with those we met on a friendly basis. Our efforts to speak and learn the language opened doors and lead to enthusiastic responses from those we met. We did get smiles and strange looks as we struggled through some sentences, but our efforts were met warmly and we constantly found people who would correct and assist us with the language. It seemed that Spanish language tutors were everywhere.

There were many great experiences on our trip to Argentina, but the journey really started when we opened the Rosetta Stone package a month before our trip. It was fun going through the lessons and participating in online Studio sessions. I also discovered something that the Rosetta Stone ads don’t tell you: when approaching this learning adventure as a couple, you can learn vicariously.

I must confess, my husband was a bit more aggressive in his approach to the lessons than I was. As he’d sit at the computer with his headphones and microphone on, I could overhear his responses in Spanish. This helped bring back all my high-school Spanish and prepare me for the trip. Based on my experience, I can announce my discovery about Rosetta Stone: learning together can make the process more fun and more effective.

We made our journey to Argentina after completing most, but not all, of the lessons we’d hoped to complete. I wish I could report that I was able to converse fully on the topics of the day with everyone I met, or that I could fully read and understand every sign and display in every museum. That didn’t happen, but I was able to make myself understood in every shop, restaurant, and taxi I entered. Having studied Latin American Spanish, I was surprised to find that Argentina has different nuances in language. In Buenos Aires they speak Spanish with an Italian accent!

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Here’s a photo of us in our new jackets.

My husband’s progress in Spanish was most surprising. He’d long been convinced he could never master another language. Yet, this man, who for the past 35 years has freely admitted to the great efforts he made to avoid having to fulfill a foreign-language requirement in college, actually conversed with people in a language other than English. He proudly ordered in restaurants, gave directions to cab drivers, and inquired as to prices of items from street vendors. And, he even managed to make himself understood while being fitted for and purchasing a custom-made leather jacket.

By the way, my husband kept his lessons up while on the road. The mobile apps that allow Rosetta Stone to travel with you are not only a great aid to learning, they’re useful references when your memory fails. It was a bit disconcerting when I’d occasionally respond to a comment from him—only to discover he was speaking to the Rosetta Stone TOTALe Companion app on his iPhone.

We’ve returned from our vacation pleased with our progress in Spanish, and we’re committed to continuing our learning. (After all, we do live in South Florida where Spanish is not exactly an unknown language.) My husband even made a trip to a local supermercado the other day. He decided to switch his coffee habit for some yerba mate, and he reported being able to complete his solo shopping experience without anyone laughing at him.

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Debbie Evans

Debbie Evans was a navy brat, born at Bethesda Naval Hospital, just outside Washington, DC. She lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Barber’s Point, Hawaii-–all before going to college. She’s been a court reporter, paralegal, and office manager. During the last 20 years, Debbie has been involved in lobbying and working on environmental and energy issues at state and local levels. Although her high school Spanish has helped and come in handy at times, she’s ready to expand her ability to communicate with her neighbors. She lives in South Florida with her husband and son.
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